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Catawba Lands Conservancy protects two new properties, including local dairy farm and creamery

Lincolnton, N.C. – A local dairy farm and creamery is now protected from development in perpetuity by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. The project was funded in part by state and federal agricultural preservation programs.

Piedmont Jerseys is a 266-acre dairy farm in Lincolnton, N.C., owned and operated by two generations of the Lutz family. This local family farm is part of the rich agricultural heritage of our region. A grazing dairy farm, Piedmont Jerseys is committed to raising healthy cows without confinement while reducing environmental impact.

“We’re extremely passionate about caring for our cows and the land. We hope to leave a legacy of providing wholesome, nutritious and delicious ALL-JERSEY dairy products for our local community,” shared the Lutz family.

The Lutzes and the Conservancy worked together to protect the farm via a conservation easement, ensuring that the property will remain in family farm use.

Later this year the family plans to open an onsite creamery and farm store to the public. When the facility is up and running, they will craft and sell fresh milk and ice cream from their Jersey milk cows to the public. The Creamery will also offer locally produced products from other farmers. Farm tours will be available soon.

The Conservancy values protecting farmland because local farms sustain our rural economies, reduce environmental and transport costs, and allow local chefs to provide farm-to-table eating. Piedmont Jerseys is located in the South Fork River watershed, adjacent to the Conservancy’s 1,065-acre Riverbend Conservation Area. With the addition of the farm, there are now 806 contiguous acres within the Conservation Area, helping to protect the water quality and wildlife of the South Fork.

The Conservancy also recently protected 72.8 acres of land along Forney Creek in Denver, N.C., adding to the signature Forney Creek Conservation Area. There are now 380 acres of protected, undeveloped land along the creek, as well as 2.5 miles of Carolina Thread Trail. The addition of this new property, officially called Saint James Preserve, will allow for future expansion of the trail and provide water quality protections in a rapidly developing part of the county. Saint James Preserve was funded in part by the North Carolina Land and Water Fund.

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